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gordon hensley -
Subject: smokin' 2nd set
my 4th show out of 187 -- end of summer '78; hadn't listened to this until now and didn't remember 2nd set being this hot (but don't remember much from that fine late summer day at the meadowlands :-). floated out of the show w/ girlfriend and headed back to westchester... still kinda spacin' we went to ho yen chinese rest in mt. kisco and saw on late news some guy jumped to his death. very bizarre... except for that, a terrific show and experience from late 70's.
Subject: Good time had by all.
Earlier this evening a friend posted a photo of a whole gang of us from the afternoon of 9/2/78 in the Giants stadium parking lot.Beacon Hill in Denville NJ about 30 miles from the venue ,20 of us or so made the trip the night before partied it up and were treated to one of those experiences only The Dead could provide.Doubtful any of us even knew who Willie Nelson was but when he opened with Whiskey River he more or less owned the crowd for the next hour with Donna coming on for his final numbers.
Jack Straw opener was always a prelude to a good show and this day was no exception.Great Stagger Lee and Friend of the Devil which was the norm for the period but the Scarlet and Eyes were top verisions of seminal songs for any era.I never ceased to be amazed though at the extent,range and depth of the Dead universe.After seeing a photo from my youth on FB to then be able to click in and relive it thanks to the magic of the most awesome Charlie Miller is beyond wonderful,and thanks for the photo Gerald!
Mind Wondrin -
Subject: What a weird show
I couldn't remember this show being worth a second listen but came back because I found, buried in my notes, the suggestion that this mostly ghastly-rough show had a great Scarlet>Fire (a Latvala claim, whose tastes I rarely share). So, does it measure up to these vicious ten? :
5/8/77, 5/21/77, 2/3/79, 10/14/80, 2/27/81, 7/31/82 10/14/83, 9/5/85, 3/22/90, 3/06/94
Because this is the show before Egypt it probably gets a little extra curiosity attention, but what you actually want is the run after Egypt, which is on RT 1-4 - though that release doesn't contain the complete 10/17 hotness (granted these ideas aren't accounting for the fact that Egypt didn't have any 5-stars shows anyway).
Unfortunately there are no good-sounding sources for this show; all are weird. The set list is weird too : Drums>Space near the end of the second set instead of the middle, as if they almost forgot (the set is still average length though; and it's not really a Space). The best source by a wide margin is the Miller106818 (with its seamless AUD crossfades and pitch correction, albeit with weird TV-band interference). The matrix doesn't add anything over the Auds (which are nearly as quality as the SBDs and don't suffer from a poor mix in places). This was an early experiment in playing stadiums - 1st ever at Giants, so sound may have been much less dialed than 10 years later. Clearly this is a part of the problem. A very long hot day where the band had to be at the venue due to NRPS. Billy in a cast. Maybe their collective mind was on Egypt instead of New Jersey? Maybe a better source will come along and illuminate from a different angle?
Still, rarely does an off show not have a couple great ones hidden inside. The first set plunks along with the sound of a band coming to grips with a football stadium; fairly plodding for an NYC late-70s show - definitely below average for the era. There are long gaps and a sense of frustration (Dire Wolf). In a bizarrely inconsistent turn Looks Like Rain is a top version. It's as if filler from a great '77 was just inserted at the end of Tape 1 Side 1. But that's just evidence #564b for how weird the band could be sometimes. Miracle, however, is just a wreck - up to this point it was Bobby having the good show but now it's just Donna. With the hot LLR you'd be excused for thinking Bobby's era-companion Lightnin'>Supplication would be the same. It's not.
The mix improves for the second set. The band still sounds more '95 than '78, though Bobby and Donna's bizarre and misguided attempt at Pig Pen ad-lib in Good Lovin' was very height-of-disco-and-flares '78. Scarlet>Fire takes a while to settle into something worthwhile but when it does they take advantage of the bright spot, extending it out for 28 minutes. But particularly of note are Bobby's counterpoints. This version is all about what it becomes - where it goes, how it becomes this intricate jam; and it does this twice. Not the best of '78 (length did sometimes work against the band) but interesting for those heads that delve into what the band did in situations like that. The SBD has some wow and flutter during Estimated that would send you to the AUD if it didn't go seriously off the rails anyway. Partway through Eyes the sound becomes more like a normal '78 SBD. Oddly, when the sound improves, the band plays better and this one is consistent with the the top Eyes of '78 (for the best, start with 2/5). Weird. Next time you hear two heads arguing over whether or not Jer or Bobby are out of tune, play this Sugar Mag for them. It has the worst tuning I think they ever proceeded with. WTF? Why didn't a tech just hand Bobby his standby? The tuning is so bad Bobby can't find one key to sing in. It would be hard to find a '94/'95 Miracle and Sugar Mag as off-mark as these.
1st Set: C-
2nd Set: D+
Overall: 1 & 1/2 stars
(1/2 star show plus 1 star for LLR, Eyes)
Looks Like Rain
Eyes of the World
Dylan M -
Subject: A Quite Enjoyable Listen
This entire selection is a very enjoyable listen through.
Do yourself a favor and hear/download it.
So much energy and different elements contribute to this grate performance and grate recording.
Subject: Eyes is good...
but definitely would have to throw in at least one other suggestion for a "better" eyes from the same year. check out the May 5th Dartmouth show they played: http://www.archive.org/details/gd1978-05-05.sbd.miller.112180.flac16
tis one of my personal favorite Estimated>Eyes combos.
Jerry-Side Left -
Subject: Well now, where have YOU been this whole time?
Like a favorite lost toy from your childhood, this show is itching to be played...with. Quite possibily the best Eyes ever? Could it be the one that is Just Exactly Perfect? Please, I need to know if there is a better one.
Thanks Charlie for making this one pretty.
Subject: 1st Show
This was the first of 200+ shows I went to. What a blast! Wasn't the greatest (one song after space) but very memerable.
Stella the Flipper -
Subject: Life Changing Concert
This was my 1st Grateful Dead concert, and, after brushing-up on tapes & albums that summer, I was ready and excited for the adventure!
We left for NJ listening to 'Old and in the Way' and found a little place set up as a diner right out-side Rutherford, but in NY. They served hamburgers that were prepared on a huge fry-pan , with a mountain of onions. The burgers kind of fried and steamed in those onions and made for a wonderful surprise meal!
We head into Giants Stadium and it was an out-of -control party! Being a mere 13 years old, I hadn't smoked or really partied yet with my older sister, who had brought me. I was sober for the next 4 or 5 shows and then went crazy after that! The scene was wild compared to a lot GD shows I've seen since.
The NRPS opened up and Willie Nelson was next. I was, and still am a Highwaymen fan, and loved hearing Donna Jean come out for Willie's set and doing a couple numbers including 'Good Hearted Woman'.
For the Dead, which started soooo late, (due to difficulty's), I was blown away with the music and the girls with hair under their arms, dancing with me! I became a lifer!
As far as the show... the Dead performed! I remember the second set much better than the first. Good Lovin'. Scarlet Begonias put me into a dream world. Estimated Prophet may have had the biggest impact on my life over any other live show!
We left after the second set and only heard One More Sat Night from the stair wells and out side... as we were heading down, looking out from the stairs, we did see the ambulance for that poor soul. It still makes an impact to this day.
After 2 shows at Red Rocks and a laid-back but well practiced-up show in NJ, the Grateful Dead jumped the pond and performed in Egypt. A monumental period in the history of the band, and a monumental evening of my life! I love it all!
Sleepin In Sedona -
Subject: Sounds Better But...
If you listen closely or with headphones you will hear the sound of a tv show or some other broadcast. During the Jack Straw ... after the song is complete you can hear a commercial for W&J Sloans at 6:55 and at 7:31 there is another one for the Firestone 721 radial tire. The music starts out sounding slow with a blanket over the speaker. Over time the sound does improve and the 2nd set is wonderful. A hot Good Lovin' and Scarlet>Fire>Estimated>Eyes all sound great. The set is so short after drums because there were no lights set up for the night. The whole place just got darker as the sun went down. Thanks to Charlie Miller for this one.